Do your own analysis - Form your own opinions

This on-line tool is designed to be an unbiased information resource for citizens and government officials who want to know more about “big box” retail stores and their potential positive and negative impacts on the local community.

This free resource gives you a way to think about how big box stores may affect a community’s economics, environment and community character. The interactive format lets you learn basic facts, test assumptions, explore interactive models and draw your own conclusions.

If a big box store is being proposed for your community, we encourage you to think about how the general examples here may relate to the specifics of your town or place.

What’s the Issue?

Big box retail stores can have significant positive and negative impacts on the economy, environment, and character of local communities and their surroundings. Read more

What’s Our Position?

The Big Box Evaluator is meant to be unbiased. Read more

How Do I Use the Analyzer?

The tool steps you through a series of pages that present both basic information and the chance for you to make some of your own assumptions or judgments based on your own opinion.

As you proceed, you’ll be analyzing a fictional community that is considering whether to allow the construction of a new big box retail store, either downtown or nearby. You may want to think about similarities between your own town and the examples used here. As you go, you’ll see the economic, environmental, social, and visual effects that would result from the assumptions and choices you make. You’ll also be able go back and change assumptions to see how they affect your results. At the end, you’ll see charts and graphics illustrating the results of your hypothetical choices.

Start Your Analysis

What It Is and What It Isn’t

The model here is just a model, and of course it is not perfectly realistic and accurate. However, we’ve tried to make it complete enough that the analysis you see provides some useful, reasonably reliable insights into the positive and negative effects of big box retail on communities.

Copyright © 2007 The Orton Family Foundation.